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Outcomes of 1st African Climate Summit 2023

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September 19, 2023

Why in news?

The 1st Africa Climate Summit (ACS23) held in Nairobi culminated in the ‘Nairobi Declaration’, giving the continent a common voice ahead of upcoming key global engagements.

What is the African Climate Summit 2023 about?

  • Theme- Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World
  • Location - Nairobi, Republic of Kenya
  • Host- Co-hosted by the Republic of Kenya, the African Union Commission (AUC)
  • Aim- To position Africa in solidarity with the rest of the world for global climate action.
  • Participants - Government representatives, policymakers, civil society organizations, the private sector, multilateral institutions, and youth representatives from Africa and beyond
  • Focus areas- Nexus between climate change and Africa’s development reality, with special emphasis on increasing investment in climate action in Africa.
  • The event was dominated by discussions about how to mobilize financing to adapt to
    • Increasingly extreme weather,
    • Conserve natural resources and
    • Develop renewable energy.
  • Nairobi declaration- It will form the basis of Africa’s negotiating position at COP28 climate summit in United Arab Emirates.

What are the focus areas of the summit?

acs

  • Thematic areas
    • Nature Capital
    • Climate Finance
    • Renewable Energy and Energy Transition
    • Green Minerals and Manufacturing
    • Sustainable Agriculture
    • Land Use, Oceans and Water
    • Sustainable Infrastructure and Urbanisation
    • Adaptation and Resilience
  • The summit committed to achieve 3 climate finance goals
    • More financing
    • Targeted financing
    • Cheaper higher risk appetite financing

What are the key outcomes of Nairobi declaration?

  • The summit culminated in the Nairobi Declaration, an eleven-point call to action proclaiming African States' unified stance on climate action.

Climate financing

  • Demands - At the Summit, African leaders called for a significant overhaul of the global financial system and their demands included
    • Improved access to concessional loans
    • Fulfilment of a 14-year-old promise by developed nations to mobilize USD 100 billion annually for climate adaptation and mitigation
    • Establishment of a carbon markets initiative to fund renewable energy infrastructure.
  • Investments - During the Summit, donor nations and multilateral organizations pledged approximately USD 26 billion for climate investments.

To meet the emission reduction targets outlined in the Paris Agreement, Africa requires a substantial USD 2.8 trillion by 2030.

Global taxes and funding mechanisms

  • Global Fossil Fuel Tax- It advocated for targeted taxes on sectors like aviation and maritime, the removal of fossil fuel subsidies worldwide, and the implementation of a global fossil fuel tax.
  • Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms (CBAM) - It can be deployed as a tax for targeted mitigation and adaptation efforts.
  • Financial Transaction Tax- Exploring this tax on a global scale is another potential avenue for generating significant revenue.
  • Global Climate Finance Charter- It will be developed through the UN General Assembly and the COP processes by 2025.
  • Debt - It recommends extending the debt repayment period and instituting a 10-year grace period.

Decarbonisation

  • Urgent action- The summit calling for immediate action by developed countries to reduce carbon emissions for equality and shared prosperity.
  • Steps to reduce emission-
    • Adherence to Paris Agreement,
    • Accelerate phasing down coal and
    • Operationalise Loss and Damage facility agreed at COP27.

G20 countries are responsible for around 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

What are the shortcomings of the summit?

  • Western delegates - The proliferation of Western delegates in the Summit is said to have compromised Africa’s push for climate justice.
  • Carbon market- Africa’s endorsement to carbon market has been described by many countries as a “bogus solution,” to the effects of climate change.
  • A new report released by Power Shift Africa states that Africa should not adopt carbon credits as they are like a silver bullet and painkillers for rich polluters.
  • Exclusion of health- Health is not included in the main agenda, despite extricable link with the climate change.
    • The exclusion happened against the backdrop of 23% of diseases globally being attributed to climate change, whilst the percentage is slightly higher in sub-Saharan Africa at 29%.

References

  1. Down to Earth- African climate summit ends with Nairobi declaration
  2. African Union- Nairobi declaration
  3. World Economic Union- Africa Climate Action Taxes
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